In the event of a flood, severe leak, or other similar occurrence, water can seep into your home's drywall and cause significant amounts of damage. If you think that water has damaged your drywall, you need to take action before mold growth can occur, which poses a significant health hazard.
Finding Water Damaged Drywall
Before you begin working, you first need to determine the extent of the water damage. Look for discoloration along the areas where the leak or flood occurred. Walls that are sagging or soft to the touch are also signs of water damage, as is any obvious signs of remaining moisture. Peeling paint and wallpaper can point to water damage that has occurred behind the wall itself.
Additionally, you should keep watch for signs of mold and mildew growth. This usually takes the form of black or dark green coloring, accompanied by a bad smell. Mold can irritate respiratory conditions and diseases and is something that needs to be addressed immediately.
Reducing Moisture and Increasing Ventilation
The first thing that you should do is open windows and install dehumidifiers in the affected rooms. This will help increase the amount of ventilation in the area and remove moisture from the air and walls. This can help prevent further water damage and slow the spread of mold, if any exists.
Determining the Extent of the Damage
Find the most visibly damaged area of your drywall, and remove the damaged sections of drywall. You can do this with a hammer or a utility knife, depending on the extent of water damage. Take care to avoid any electrical wires or other installations that may be located behind the wall. However, if the drywall remains firm to your touch, the water damage may only be superficial. Simply ventilate the area as best you can and allow the drywall to dry fully. You may have to repaint, but you won't have to replace your walls.
However, if the drywall is spongy under your touch, it is past the point of no return, and you'll have to contact a contractor to replace the drywall. Once you have cut out a section of the drywall, you can see inside to determine the extent of the water damage, and to also determine if there is any mold growth and how far along it is. If there is any signs of mold growth, you'll have to contact a mold removal contractor in addition to a drywall contractor, as mold can spread rapidly throughout your home if left unchecked.
For more information, contact Fire & Flood Services Inc or a similar company.